What’s next for Dwyane Wade now that he’s probably played his last game as a Bull

Dwyane Wade will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 NBA regular season with a “small fracture” in his elbow, the Chicago Bulls announced on Thursday.

Unless Wade cares about money above everything else, he’s played his final game with the Bulls. This little experiment in Chicago was a complete, abject failure, and Wade should look to get out of his hometown as soon as possible.

The three-time champion has a $23.8 million player option for next year, which certainly complicates things. That’s a lot of money to pass up just to escape basketball purgatory. But Wade has plenty of cash. He hawks wine and sells shoes all around the world — not to mention his approximately $156 million in career earnings on the court.

All the money in the world can’t buy joy in your work, and Wade has looked absolutely miserable with the Bulls this year. He’s had to combat Rajon Rondo’s faux alpha dog status, navigate his way through whatever Fred Hoiberg is doing with his rotations and schemes and deal with Chicago’s front office shipping out the team’s best role players.

Wade is 35 years old, and with this most recent injury, he’s starting to enter that late-career Kobe Bryant stage where all the nicks and bruises from a long career add up. Maybe that’s an argument for making as much money as possible with whatever years he has left, but we saw how that worked out for Kobe and the Lakers.

Yes, Wade made a big deal about getting paid this past offseason when he left Miami, but that was more about the Heat’s blatant disrespect than it was about the almighty dollar. I mean, how much would you need to make a year to work in an ever-burning structure fire — especially when you can turn around and still make millions elsewhere, like in Cleveland?

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Because that’s where all this should end up: With Wade taking the minimum to join the Cavaliers in their quest to prove LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time.

Wade might not need more rings, but adding championship jewelry to your collection never hurts. And with the Cavs so far over the cap, we’re sure LeBron would love to make Dan Gilbert pay the luxury tax price for adding Wade. It’s not like the Cleveland owner is going to say no if LeBron wants to add a future Hall of Famer to the roster.

For Wade, the question is simple — which matters more: money, or peace of mind?